Hutchinson -- Kansas University's Chris Thompson and Ryan Vermeer both shot sizzling 1-under-par scores of 139 after 36 holes Monday at the Big 12 men's golf championships at Prairie Dunes.
Their rounds helped the Jayhawks place first entering today's final 18-hole round of the annual conference meet.
The Jayhawks totaled 570 strokes. Nebraska was second at 572, Oklahoma State third at 578 and Texas fourth at 583.
"Anything near par at Prairie Dunes is solid, especially today," KU coach Ross Randall said. The golfers competed in rainy and somewhat windy conditions Monday.
"We played steady, didn't make too many mistakes. We lost a few shots midway through the second round, but played well coming down the stretch," Randall added. "Like I told the guys, 'This is what we've been playing and practicing for all year.'''
Vermeer, a junior, had rounds of 68 and 71. Thompson, a senior, had rounds of 70 and 69. Nebraska's Jamie Rogers shot 140, while six golfers shot 142.
KU junior Brad Davis and sophomore Conrad Roberts tied for 16th at 146. Junior Jake Istnick placed 45th at 155.
"Ryan played a good round in the morning. He made one bogey and 17 pars in the afternoon," Randall said. "Chris got away with not his sharpest round in the morning, but made some nice saves and putts. He birdied two of his last three holes.
"Conrad and Brad both played real steady and they can play better than that. Jake was OK. He just had a horrible finish in the morning. He lost four shots on the last hole, but hung in there."
Randall is not surprised at KU's first-day performance. KU was picked to finish fifth in the coaches' poll.
"We have been playing better the last few tournaments," Randall said. "The guys have been a little steadier, a little smoother. We have a good, solid team.
"The fifth pick doesn't surprise me based on the performances everybody has had. We'll see tomorrow.
"Nebraska has a good team. Last year they made the NCAA finals for the first time in 20 years. Oklahoma State and Texas are outstanding. We tied Oklahoma State and lost to Texas by two strokes last week in Arizona. And we had a poor finish. So we know we are capable.
"This is an important time of the year to play well -- conference, the NCAA regionals and if you survive that you get to the finals. We have our own goals, which we've kept to ourselves."
Today's forecast called for morning rain, then clear weather.
"We're pleased, but it's not over, either," Randall said. "We must take care of our business and not worry about others."